Ten Activity Ideas for Family Travel
Family travel is always exciting and fun. Be sure to pack extra water and travel
snacks for the trip. By including things such as a magnifying glass, binoculars,
and a disposable camera, you will add to the fun.
Once you get to your
location, there will be plenty of activities for you and your family to
Here are some activity ideas to do en route to keep
everyone busy and happy.
1. Read a book.
lots of books. (Don’t forget about activity and jokes books!) Even very young
babies will respond to a good book. You don’t have to read the entire story word
for word, but the baby will enjoy hearing your voice as you point out objects in
the pictures. (Barnes and Noble has many books that are perfect for traveling.
Go to their online section of Kid’s Books.)
2. Make up special
Here is a great game to play, especially if you are
traveling by car. Pick out five things that you see as you drive along — for
example, a cow, a brick house, a blue car, a hay wagon, and a lake or pond.
Assign a sound to make for each item (“moo moo” for a cow, “ding dong” for a
house, etc.) Each time you see one of the objects, make the sound. It’s always
fun to keep track of how many of each item you see along the way.
3. Blow bubbles.
When you stop for a break, why
not enjoy some bubble-blowing fun? Children love this activity, and it is a
great outdoor exercise. See who can blow the most bubbles, the biggest bubble,
or a bubble that lasts the longest.
4. Put on a puppet show.
Small hand puppets are wonderful to have available when
traveling with young children. Both you and your child will enjoy talking with
the puppets about your forthcoming trip, what you will be doing, etc.
you are traveling by plane, the air sickness bag makes a great puppet. Draw a
face on the bottom and put your hand in the bag. The folded part moves like a
5. Have fun with letters.
Try to find
the letters of the alphabet on signs and billboards on the side of the road. The
rule is that the letters need to be in the correct order.
You can do the
same thing with license plates, although this a little bit more difficult. To
make the game even harder, choose the letters on a license plate, and try to
make up a sentence using only those letters.
6. Practice your
Pick a letter from the alphabet — for example, “S.”
Each person then tries to find three items that start with “S” (a silo, a street
sign, a store, etc.) The first person to find three items is the winner. The
winner gets to choose the next letter for continuing the game. (For younger
children, you can make it two items instead of three.)
Look out the window and count items that are alike,
such as telephone poles, red cars, motorcycles, license plates from a particular
state, etc. You pick the subject matter and see how many objects kids can count
within a certain time limit. To challenge older kids, try to find license plates
from all 50 states. Be sure to write down the ones that you see.
8. Find the number.
This is a good way for
younger children to practice number recognition. In this game, one person picks
a number, and everyone has to hunt for it. (Signs, billboards, license plates,
etc. are all possible sources.) The first one to see that number calls it out.
The winner gets to choose the next number.
9. Get artistic with
Give children a sheet of aluminum foil and encourage them
to mold it into different shapes. With younger children, you can suggest making
circles and squares. You can also give everyone ideas to get started. Here are
some ideas: animals, crowns, rings and bracelets, hats, masks, cups, saucers,
bowls for snacks. Let the kids use their imaginations. You will be amazed at
what they will come up with!
10. Entertain ‘em with cards,
stickers, or games.
Playing cards can be used for lots of
favorite games, such as Go Fish, Memory, Old Maid, Solitaire, and Crazy Eights.
Sticker books are a particularly good choice for toddlers, since they
allow a child to express creativity on his own personal developmental level.
Be sure to have a selection of games to play with your kids that don’t
require special equipment, small pieces, or playing boards. A good example of a
game that can be played anywhere is “I Spy.” One person says, “I spy a car with
a red and blue flag.” Everyone has to look for that particular object and shout
out when they see it. This is an excellent way to hone observation skills.
Careful planning and preparation will make for a successful trip with
young children. It is also important to include them in the planning as much as